Thursday, May 15, 2014


As mentioned in my last post, I'm expecting big changes and have some new projects.   One new project has to do with exploration of entrepreneurship.  Many Tea Sommelier friends have opened tea shops (brick and mortar types and online varieties), or work as consultants or teachers.  Listening to their experiences and helping them with tea tastings, I often ponder if I could do what they're doing, or where I would fit in the industry.  If I had my own business, what would I do differently?  

I am not totally unfamiliar with the concept of entrepreneurship. My parents were new immigrants with a successful restaurant who put me to work at a young age to help out the family business.  I saw a lot of the hardships and joys that can come with running your own business.  Even now, working in financial services, we have clients who are business owners.  I even have a friend who opened up her own organic bakery.  I watch and give ideas on marketing, finance and social media since graduating with a Certificate in Digital Strategy and Communications Management at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.  

Now that I am expecting, as I prepare to pass on my work duties to my maternity leave replacement, I wonder what else could be on the horizon for me.  Some may see a break in a career and a new baby on the way as a "problem" but why not see it as an opportunity?  

When I received an invitation from the U of T School of Continuing Studies (in collaboration with the MaRS Discovery District), to be a brand ambassador for their Entrepreneurship program, I thought, what marvelous timing!

Toronto's MaRS Discovery District offers workshops, lectures and assistance for entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. 

This, on top of the U.of T. Digital Communications Strategy and Management program I completed last year, sounded very intriguing.  How inspiring, to meet classmates at varying stages of their entrepreneurial journeys and learn about the latest in entrepreneurship in Canada and beyond while exploring my own strengths and weaknesses. 

My first class was last night and it was quite exciting!  My energy level was good despite my ever more noticeable bump.  We have a a diverse and interesting group of classmates.  Some have businesses already, some have ideas and need more structure to see what would work.  Our instructor Keri Damen is informative and engaging. 
So, as I head back to school again for the next 6 weeks, please join me as I learn more about entrepreneurship and begin my own entrepreneurial journey.  As student ambassador I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences, what I learn from class about some exciting new concepts and potential businesses through my blog and other social media platforms.  These special posts will be denoted by #StartUpEdu.

Follow #StartUpEdu on Twitter to join in on the conversation.  Also feel free to follow @EntrepreneurSCS and the instructor @KeriDamen.

Can I use my Tea Sommelier skills as a consultant for independent tea businesses or cafes? Or a tea sommelier service? Or perhaps an import/export tea company of my own?!  You never know... We shall see!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Certificate in Entrepreneurship program; however, the opinions provided are my own.

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